Paris Winter Sale (Soldes)

IMGP2007.JPGParis only has two sanctioned sales during the year — in January just after the Christmas break and in July just before the August holiday.  This year’s winter shopping sale season begins on January 7 and ends on Valentine’s Day.  Unlike sales in the U.S., stores are open mostly during normal hours, except have extended days open on a few Sundays.  While it seems impossible, French law only allows sales during this time period, otherwise stores must get permission from the police to hold discounted sales outside this time period.  The theory behind this is that this protects the small mom and pop shops from heavy discounting by the major giants, like Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, but, in reality, this is a way to preserve price protection and state sanctioned price parity among retailers. Read More »

January and February in Paris

IMGP2732.JPGAlthough New Year festivities are over, there are plenty of things to do and see in Paris this January and February before the winter season ends.  Our favorite places to visit and things to do after the New Year this winter season in Paris include the following: Read More »

Galette des Rois (King’s Cake)

Galette des Roi.JPGJust when you think New Year festivities are at an end, La Fête des Rois starts on the Epiphany holiday, which falls on the first Sunday in January.  This is a great holiday, where bakeries in France and throughout Paris make a round almond pastry cake that families buy to share, and celebrate a holiday where anyone can be king or queen for a day.  A ’fève’ (originally a bean but now tends to be a plastic or enamel trinket) is baked inside the cake and the cake is shared around the table. Whoever bites into the almond crusty cake and finds the fève (just be careful not to break your tooth!) is crowned king or queen for the day.  It is not too late to get your galette to be king for a day! Read More »

Je Suis Charlie

je suis charlie A day of sorrow for France.

Christmas In Paris

The City of Lights literally sparkles at night during the festive winter season, as the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysees and narrow streets of Paris glow with twinkling lights, Christmas ornaments and decorations through the New Year.  Read More »

Christmas Markets in Paris

Nothing exudes the spirit and festiveness of Christmas more than the traditional Christmas markets in Paris. Sip hot spiced wine while shopping for artisan cheeses, giant-sized ginger bread cookies, sausages, wines and other winter season specialties.  Each market has its own character, but it very much feels like being in Strasbourg, or the really charming towns of Colmar and Kayserberg, with their ginger-bread style Alsace homes. Read More »

Ice Skating in Paris

What better way to experience the beauty of Paris in the winter than ice skating?  Several venues in Paris offer ice skating, either for a low fee or even for free.  The primary venue is located at Hotel de Ville.
Every year this rink is packed with local Parisians, as well as, tourists who want to experience this winter activity beside the historical beauty of Hotel de Ville.  Open December 20 through March 1.  Skate rentals are only 5 Euros.  Metro: Hotel de Ville.